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Paper Chase

Phenotype correction in retinal pigment epithelium in murine mucopolysaccharidosis VII by adenovirus-mediated gene transfer.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.. Aug 15, 1995;92(17):7700-4.
Li T, Davidson BL.

Berman-Gund Laboratory for the Study of Retinal Degenerations, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston 02114, USA.


We have studied the use of adenovirus-mediated gene transfer to reverse the pathologic changes of lysosomal storage disease caused by beta-glucuronidase deficiency in the eyes of mice with mucopolysaccharidosis VII. A recombinant adenovirus carrying the human beta-glucuronidase cDNA coding region under the control of a non-tissue-specific promoter was injected intravitreally or subretinally into the eyes of mice with mucopolysaccharidosis VII. At 1-3 weeks after injection, the treated and control eyes were examined histochemically for beta-glucuronidase expression and histologically for phenotypic correction of the lysosomal storage defect. Enzymatic expression was detected 1-3 weeks after injection. Storage vacuoles in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) were still present 1 week after gene transfer but were reduced to undetectable levels by 3 weeks in both intravitreally and subretinally injected eyes. There was minimal evidence of ocular pathology associated with the viral injection. These data indicate that adenovirus-mediated gene transfer to the eye may provide for adjunctive therapy for lysosomal storage diseases affecting the RPE in conjunction with enzyme replacement and/or gene therapies for correction of systemic disease manifestations. The data also support the view that recombinant adenovirus may be useful as a gene therapy vector for retinal degenerations that result from a primary genetic defect in the RPE cells.